Archive for the ‘wystawy’ Category

wystawa prac Caldera w Whitney Museum w NY

In kinetic art, prehistoria, Uncategorized, wystawy on 16 grudnia 2008 at 9:49 pm

Calder at Play: Finding Whimsy in Simple Wire

by Holland Cotter, NY Times

Is art basically glorified child’s play, extending into adulthood, through a lifetime, picking up ideas and gaining finesse as it goes? That’s one way to think of “Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926-1933” at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Few exhibitions have focused so intently on one artist’s child within. It’s a Peter Pan syndrome show.

It’s also a large show, with a chunky, charming catalog. Yet it feels intimate and light, not to say lightweight. Gallery by gallery, it’s as suspenseful and insubstantial as a magic act: what will the artist pull from his sleeve next? The story it tells is like a Kids R Us version of early 20th-century Modernism, with a grown-up surprise at the end.

Calder didn’t start out with ambitions to be an artist; if anything, he was pulled in the opposite direction. He watched his father, a professional sculptor, fret over commissions and struggle with money. So when it came time for college the young Calder chose an engineering school in New Jersey over art school.

But of course he was an artist, a natural. He may just not have known at first what that meant. Even as a child he was astonishingly inventive. The tiny figure of a rocking-horse-style bird shaped from brass sheeting is, for economy of form and conceptual daring, one of the more radical works in the show. He made it when he was 11.

He made stuff all the time. He was one of those people with nonstop eyes and hands: every scrap of stray matter was a candidate for transformation. Give him some wire, clothespins and a scrap of cloth and, presto chango, you had a bird or a cow or a circus clown: nothing, then something, which is what magic is.

There’s a hyperactive pace to his early career. While working at engineering jobs after college, he was also drawing like crazy and designing toys. In 1923 he enrolled at the Art Students League to study painting; John Sloan and George Luks were his teachers. At the same time he took on illustrating gigs for publications like The New Yorker and The National Police Gazette.

His academic drawings from the time are gauche and ordinary. The staying-still-in-a-studio they required obviously cramped his style. Much fresher is the dashed-off, manic-looking magazine work. And his Ash Can School-type paintings of New York scenes — a drunken party; a trip to the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus — have a gawky spark of life. Then there are his pen-and-ink drawings of zoo animals. They’re in a different category, almost by a different artist, one more relaxed and assured. Often done as one continuous line, they are like an effortlessly sophisticated form of penmanship. So are some of the openwork sculptures of bent and twisted wire that he began to experiment with at this time.

In 1926, with all these balls in the air, he suddenly moved to Paris, because motion for him was a stimulant and because he felt that Paris was the hot place to be, which it was. With its crowded cafes, charged thinking, endless talking and jumpy personalities, the city was hyperkinetic. Calder fell in love with it. And, although he continued to return to New York for long stretches, he made Paris his home base for seven years.

His wire sculpture took off there. Several examples in the form of portrait heads are the first thing you see when you step off the elevator on the Whitney’s fourth floor. They’re an arresting sight, in a gently wow-inspiring way. Wows were what Calder was after, along with chuckles and satisfied ahs. He was a showman, a performer. “See what I can do, right before your eyes, without even trying?” his art seems to say.

For his purposes industrial steel wire was an ideal medium. It was cheap, malleable, portable and equally adaptable to precision work and doodling, which to him were almost the same thing. Wire was like three-dimensional ink; it was a means of combining drawing and sculpture in space.

In the Paris years he used it for portraiture. His first subject was a star he admired from afar, Josephine Baker. She was the toast of the town in the 1920s. One look at film clips of her dancing a semi-nude Charleston tells you why. Calder made five small Baker figures; four are in the show. With their tiny heads, spiraling breasts and long, long single-strand legs, they catch something of the image Baker wanted to project: that of an ethnographic specimen come to irrepressibly self-amused life.

He made other figures too, of the tennis champion Helen Wills, of John D. Rockefeller playing golf. They are the work of a pop illustrator, clever but nothing special. But for people he actually knew, portrait heads were the form of choice. Of the 18 examples in the show, most depict people Calder had met in avant-garde circles in Paris, including celebrity friends like Edgard Varèse, Joan Miró and Alice Prin, the multitasking muse better known as Kiki de Montparnasse. You can see why Calder did these likenesses: they were an attention-getting novelty; they advertised his skill; they gave him a pretext to network.

They also look as if they were fun to make. One of the attractive features of Calder’s art from this period is its gee-I-could-do-that unpretentiousness. At the same time each is a fabulous little virtuosic feat, abstract but exacting. Set on bases or freely suspended, and casting subtle shadows — Jennifer Tipton, the theatrical lightning designer, was in charge of illumination — the portraits have the wit and refinement that will show up again in Calder’s first abstract sculptures.Refinement is not a quality associated with the famously funky tabletop assemblage known as Calder’s Circus. A prime draw of the Whitney’s permanent collection, it has rarely been off view since the museum acquired it 25 years ago. But it gets a rethinking here.Up to now it has been exhibited as a compact, one-ring affair with its many tiny handmade figures — clowns, acrobats, animal trainers and so on — doing all the varied things they do at once. The show’s curators, Joan Simon of the Whitney and Brigitte Leal of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, have separated the components into individual acts meant to be seen as taking place sequentially, a format that corresponds to the way Calder himself presented the work in live performances.

You can see him giving one in a 1955 film by Jean Painlevé, which is in the show. Calder introduces the figures silently one by one, manipulating them and activating the low-tech mechanisms (cranks, pull-strings, air hoses) that animate their activities. If, like me, you’ve always found Calder’s Circus a little too cute for comfort, the film may change your mind.

When at one point Calder slowly and carefully removes layer after layer of hand-sewn costumes from one clown figure until he arrives at what looks like a skeleton, it’s hard to known whether you’re seeing a circus or a medieval morality play. No wonder the original Paris performances pulled in the savvy audiences they did. Jean Cocteau,Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondrianwere among the many vanguard types who sat on crates and watched with rapt attention.

The Whitney show’s real shock comes a bit later, though, in the last three galleries, when Calder the polymath entertainer becomes Calder the Modern sculptor. The shift happened almost literally overnight. In October 1930 he visited Mondrian’s Paris studio; instantly he became an abstract artist. And for some people Calder starts to become interesting only at this point. No more Kikis and tennis players. Now everything is floating circles and curving lines anchored by balls in space.

But two things stayed constant: motion and play. For conservation reasons only one sculpture in the Whitney show is now motorized as intended; others can be seen in action on film. And action is the essence in a piece like “Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere” (1932-33), which consists of two suspended wooden balls and, set out on the gallery floor, a wooden box, four wine bottles, a can and a gong.

Nothing much, right? Until — as seen on film — the balls, attached to a motorized bar, start to move in a slow circle, hitting a bottle, then the can, then the gong. Music! (Varèse loved this piece.) Yet move a bottle an inch or two this way or that and the performance changes. Turn on a fan or open a window and you could create a new score. The game Calder is playing is a finely tuned, verging on magical, game of chance. And it really is a game. And it really is play.

Evoluon, czyli domek dla Senstera

In computer art, cybernetic sculpture, wystawy on 23 listopada 2008 at 3:14 pm


Na stronie UvA znalazłam ostatnio bardzo fajną rzeczy, którą z przyjemnością się dzielę. Jest to film będący reklamą Evoluonu, muzeum techniki, które znajduje się w Eindhoven. Wspominałam już o nim pisząc o Ihnwatowiczu, ponieważ to właśnie tam po raz pierwszy został pokazany Senster (sponsorowany przez Philipsa). Warto spojrzeć!

To jest jeszcze raz Senster w Evoluonie, a dalej dwie części filmu promocyjnego z 1967, jak głosi strona UvA, film wykonany prawdopodobnie przez Berta Haanstrata.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology, czyli prehistoria…

In prehistoria, wystawy on 5 października 2008 at 12:21 am

Ostatnio dzięki mojemu ulubionemu blogowi trafiłam na zupełnie zakręconą stronę – The Museum of Jurassic Technology, które znajduje się w Los Angeles. Jak głosi wstępna informacje umieszczona na ich stronie, jest to instytucja o charakterze edukacyjnym „dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic”.

Więcej informacji o muzeum na „we make money not art”:

Natomiast strona muzeum znajduje się pod adresem:

Na stronie można zobaczyć stałe ekspozycje oraz wystawy czasowe, ale moim zdaniem najlepsza, szczególnie w kontekście archeologii, jest ta poświęcona A. Kircherowi (1602 – 1680), jednemu z najwybitniejszych umysłów (jak to brzmi!) XVII wieku ( obok wielu innych równie wielkich umysłów jak Leibniz, Newton, czy Kartezjusz). Kircher zajmował się wszystkim – od geografii, poprzez kompozycję, egiptologię i geologię do historii – ale przede wszystkim był wynalazcą i to nie byle jakim. Pozostawił po sobie setki planów, książek i rękopisów.

Jeśli kogoś zainteresuje Kircher to polecam również książkę Anthony Graftona pod tytułem „Magic and Technology in Early Modern Europe”

i jeszcze jedna jedna książka należąca do kategorii „dziwna lektura”, jeszcze tego nie czytałam, ale Zielinski powołuje się na to kilka razy pisząc o G. B. della Porcie:

„Cybernetic Serendipity”, ICA, Londyn, 2 sierpnia – 30 października 1968

In computer art, wystawy on 4 października 2008 at 2:47 pm


Plakat by Franciszka Themerson, broni się po 40 latach jak nic:)

Pod tym adresem znajduje się wykład Jasi Reichardt, która była kuratorką wystawy:

oraz kolejne jej wystąpienie na temat Cybernetic Serendipity, tym razem w muzeum Tate Modern w Londynie, 30 wrześnie 2001 roku,

Tutaj natomias znajduje się link do formu, na którego łamach toczy się ożywiona dyskusja na temat wystawy (warto zajrzeć, wiele ciekawych wpisów):

Leonardo/OLATS, co-sponsor of YASMIN, is pleased to announce:

> Cybernetics Serendipity Redux

A moderated discussion on YASMIN
Beginning September 1, 2008

Discussion On YASMIN, led by Ranulph Glanville.
Moderators Ranulph Glanville, Paul Brown, Paul Pangaro

40 years ago, Jasia Reichart’s exhibition „Cybernetic Serendipity” showed that cybernetics, computing and art had arrived. 40 years later, while computers and art remain, cybernetics has nearly vanished, although there is a reviving interest in art.
In celebrating Cybernetic Serendipity we have the chance to re-open the debate, to reconsider the relationship particularly between cybernetics and art, and to do so taking into account the way that cybernetics has developed during its period of near invisibility. So what is new in cybernetics, and how can that inform art. And, what is new in art, and how can that inform cybernetics. This is a chance to reopen the connection, to explore again, and to move beyond some of the current models taken from cognitive science, computing, AI and AL, and complexity, to the (much more radical) field of their origin: cybernetics.
> List of Discussants:

Albert Mueller: albert.mueller ( @ )
Andreas Giannakoulopoulos: andreas ( @ )
Andrew Brouse: abrouse ( @ )
Enrique Rivera: or.enrique ( @ )
Ian Clothier: I.Clothier ( @ )
Jasia Reichart: jreichardt ( @ )
Julien Knebusch: jknebusch ( @ )
Mitchell Whitelaw: mitchell.whitelaw ( @ )
Paul Brown: paul ( @ )
Paul Pangaro: pan ( @ )
Ranulph Glanville: ranulph ( @ ),
ranulph ( @ )
Roger Malina: rmalina ( @ )
Stephen Jones: sjones ( @ )

YASMIN is a network of artists, scientists, engineers, theoreticians and institutions promoting communication and collaboration in art, science and technology around the Mediterranean. Everyone is welcome.
To subscribe, visit:

Tuatj znajduje się link do katalogu wystawy:, prawdziwy biały kruk (wśród katalogów).